Cameroon: Swiss Sports Court Offers Cameroonian New Lease of Life
A Swiss court has ordered the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) to organise fresh presidential to election to include Cameroonian-born Hamad Kalkaba Malboum.
The court said Anoca unjustly disqualified Malboum from standing in last year's election after its executive committee accused him of bribery and illegally using his home government to campaign.
Malboum, a colonel, is also the president of the Cameroon Olympic and Sports Committee and a vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Anoca incumbent president Lassana Palenfo from Cote d'Ivoire was consequently re-elected by acclamation for a fourth term in office at the general assembly held in Djibouti on May 10 last year.
But the Cameroonian, who denied all the allegations against him, appealed the case and months after, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in his favour.
In a verdict made public on May 29, the Swiss-based sports tribunal said during the hearing last month in Lausanne, that it found no sufficient evidence that Malboum paid bribes for votes.
The verdict annulled all decisions taken by Anoca's executive committee against Malboum, and called for fresh elections open to all candidates in accordance with the agency statutes.
The CAS ruling puts an end to a tumultuous 12 months at the continental Olympics body.
"I have welcomed the [CAS] verdict with much humility. I appreciate the fact that justice has finally been done. I did not corrupt anyone in the build up to the elections," Malboum told state television in Yaoundé on Wednesday.
The news comes with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) currently leading a process to secure an African host for its 2022 summer Youth Olympic Games.
Anoca was also yet to find a replacement host for the 2019 African Games after Equatorial Guinea withdrew their staging rights last year.
NDI Eugene NDI
Source: East African